The year end is a good time to share a bit more about myself, about this blog, and learn more about you. Skeptic Geek started four months ago. Discounting FriendFeed, Feedburner says there are already about 100 “true” subscribers. This really is a surprise.
I come from a world of cubicle farms in the software outsourcing industry and am a complete newbie in the social web. I joined:
My last stay in the US during ‘06-‘08 was to manage the development of a website for the largest automaker in America. The project was to provide 5 million+ auto financing customers with an account self-service website in order to reduce call-center costs. More recently, I worked in embedded software, working with real-estate developers in India to build intelligent digital homes.
My career has been in project management (requirements gathering, people management, scheduling, risk management, etc.), competitive research, proposals, business development and so on. I lived amidst J2EE, EAI, and RFPs. Two years ago, I had not even heard of Twitter or FriendFeed.
In other ways, by some standards, I am a veteran. I sent my first email in ‘89 from India when there were no ISPs here, and browsed the web with Netscape Navigator for the first time in ‘95 from Berlin. The first “computer” I handled was a Sinclair ZX-81, and the first PC in my home was a PC-XT with a 20 MB hard disk. In college, I learnt assembly language programming with the 8085 and 8086 microprocessors.
As you can imagine, this year has been a change in many ways. Taking a break from the enterprise software world, I ventured as a freelancer on the web. My experience is indeed useful to my work, but I found that I had to make a fresh beginning. You might manage a million dollar software project within budget on time, but a high-school tech enthusiast may be better informed, better networked, and write faster blog posts than you.
I started my personal blog on WordPress.com in Apr ‘07. For the past two years, my personal blog has been an enjoyable hobby for expressing my varied interests. I was a complete stranger in the tech blogging world when I started writing for MakeUseOf.com in Apr ‘09. After a few months, I joined Techmeme. It has been a good year and I feel grateful.
The social network I am most indebted to is FriendFeed. It offered me some of the best and brightest tech minds to network with on a platter. My networking journey, if it were to happen via any other network like LinkedIn, might have taken years. FriendFeed accelerated it to a few months. I have made many good friends there and elsewhere, many of whom have kindly added me to their Twitter Lists.
These are my humble beginnings this year. I started this blog as a parking lot for my thoughts about online tech developments. My writing at MakeUseOf is for a non-geeky audience, and I wanted a place to pen more insightful posts. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that there would be anyone interested enough to subscribe. While I don’t want to write blog posts under any obligatory pressure, I do want to write regularly, at a slower pace of about a post per week or ten days. At this moment, it’s a long road ahead, and I don’t know what’s lying in store after the next bend.
Are you really out there, dear subscriber? If you would be so kind to let me know, I would be obliged. Do you have any feedback about my posts so far or about the blog in general? Would it be interesting if I bring an occasional India-specific tech angle in my writing that might be amusing or interesting to western audiences? Should I continue writing at all?
Finally, here’s wishing you a Very Happy Christmas and New Year! May we all enjoy a peaceful, connected, and exciting 2010!